Linear Park is an incredible idea. It would open up a grey, underused, walking-unfriendly part of the city, and link our city centre’s green spaces into an uninterrupted park/ walkway/ cycleway along Victoria Street, from Victoria Park to Albert Park.
Linear Park would be a place for the skyrocketing number of inner city residents to use for study, work, and fun. With our city centre, transitioning from a place for cars to a place for people, the Linear Park project would lead the transformation. It’s a very very cool concept, and very important for Auckland’s future.
The best part: it’s not just a dream. It’s already a key part of the plan for the centre city. The Mayor, the head of the council planning committee, and other councillors are all huge supporters. All going well, within a few years Linear Park will be a reality.
BUT those plans are in turmoil, thanks to Auckland Transport (AT) and the University of Auckland.
Greater Auckland uncovered documents showing that the University of Auckland have been lobbying AT in secret. It seems they're against any plan that would send buses past their new science building.
From Greater Auckland:
“Just days after the council made it abundantly clear that they supported the Victoria St Linear Park and wanted the agreed City Centre Master Plan implemented, AT have launched consultation for the Midtown bus route, which if they go with their preferred option, openly defies the council by preventing the Linear Park from being possible.”
The reasons behind AT’s stated preference are confusing, to say the least. Not only would their preferred option make the buses slower and the route harder to understand, but their own notes say: “This route will make it difficult to reduce the number of lanes on Victoria Street, as part of a planned future upgrade of Victoria Street.”
By “future upgrade” they mean the Linear Park – and by “difficult” they mean impossible. So why is that option even on the menu, let alone preferred?
Thankfully, there is another option! What AT call Option Two (outbound on Wellesley Street) and what we are calling ‘The Route That Would Save Linear Park'. That’s why it’s supported by Generation Zero, Bike Auckland, and Greater Auckland.
And here’s the thing: Option Two doesn’t just save the park – it provides a quicker, more direct route for students at both the University of Auckland and AUT. Whereas Option One sends all buses to the University on a detour around Albert Park, Option Two would send buses straight up and down Wellesley Street to and from Symonds St.
There’s an Option Three, as well… it would keep the park, it’s okay for AUT, but worse for UoA students, so we don’t love it. What we can’t live with is losing the Linear Park, especially as a side-effect of back-room lobbying for a solution that suits some, not all.
So we’ve fired up our quick submit machine again.
We need to send a clear message that Linear Park is not something we will give up simply because the University of Auckland are whispering in AT’s ear. This park is a vital step in the right direction towards making Auckland a city for people, and we need to make our message heard loud and clear.
We need your help to get the message out. Submit below and then share this message with your friends and family to spread the word as far as we can.